Sunday, April 8, 2012

Happy EASTER!


A few days ago the mail lady, who is very sweet, said to my son as he retrieved the mail, "Happy Egg Day!" He came in the house quite confused. "Mom," he said, with a crease between his brows, "what's Egg Day?"

Well, I tried to gently explain that for some non-Christians, Easter is about eggs and bunnies and candy and an excuse to buy new clothes. That's what I said on the outside. On the inside I hit the ceiling.

I'm so tired of having holy days co-opted for commercial purposes. Christmas is gone. It's all about Santa and presents. People around the world who are confirmed Buddhists, Hindus, atheists and pagans celebrate that day with ornamented trees, twinkling lights, lavish feasts, and a glut of presents. But taking the name of the holiest day on the Christian calendar, the whole reason for our faith, and using it as an excuse to feed your kids yet more sugar, buy them yet more clothes, and have their picture taken sitting on the lap of a giant, terrifying bunny, is not OK with me. Easter is about JESUS!

Just in case you've never heard why there is a day called Easter, or if you ever wondered why it's on a different day every year, here are a few things you should know.

Jesus is God. He came to earth in human form to live a sinless life and die a death he didn't deserve. All people everywhere sin, and the penalty for sin is to be forever separated from God. When we die, we go to a place of eternal torment without God. But, God loves us so much he doesn't want that to happen to us. He wants us to live with him forever, so he sent Jesus to be the sacrifice that pays the price for our sins.

In the Jewish tradition, Passover is celebrated right before Easter and a lamb is killed for the Passover feast. Jesus is our sacrifice, hence the name Lamb of God. Yes, that's where all the Easter lambs come in. Not Bunny of God. Lamb of God.

After Jesus died on the cross, he was buried in a tomb. But the amazing, exciting, wonderful news is that he didn't stay buried. He rose from the dead and was seen by hundreds of witnesses before he ascended to heaven! That means that when we die, we won't stay dead, either.

If you look at your life and can see the sin all over it and know that you've made a mess of things, Easter is for you. It's the chance to get to know Jesus and hear his offer. He says, "Come to me. Give me your sins, and I'll make you clean and give you a new life." Best. Deal. Ever!

I'll throw in a recipe to sweeten the deal. You can think about this post as you bake. And if you decide to take Jesus up on his offer, please let me know. I'd love to pray for you!




Happy EASTER!

White Chocolate Brownies
- adapted from The Baking Bites Cookbook

1/4 cup butter
6 oz. white chocolate, chopped
2 large eggs
1 cup sugar
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
6 oz. dark chocolate, cut into chunks


1- Preheat oven to 350 deg. F with rack in center of oven. Line a 9-inch square baking pan with aluminum foil, leaving an overhang (these are the handles to remove the brownies from the pan). Lightly grease the foil.

2- In a heatproof bowl set over simmering water, melt together the butter and white chocolate. Stir until smooth. Set aside to cool slightly.

3- In a large bowl, beat together the eggs, sugar, and vanilla extract. Stir in the cooled chocolate mixture.

4- Sift together the flour, baking powder, and salt over the chocolate mixture and stir until just combined, with no streaks of flour remaining. Stir in the chocolate chunks, then pour the batter into the pan.

5- Bake for 30-35 minutes, until golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

6- Cool completely on a wire rack. Remove the brownies front he pan, using the foil as handles. Cut into 25 squares.

18 comments:

Kaye Syrah said...

He is risen.

Ginny said...

Thank you for this. I, too, am tired of the secularization of all things holy. Even at Mass today a woman nearby my family had to reprimand a group of young adults standing with their backs to the altar having a conversation and sharing pictures on cell phones. Granted we were in the vestibule because it was standing room only, but really. If you are going to come to church, at least participate. If you can't participate, at least be respectful. I had to really check myself from getting angry. Instead, I tried to remember that it was good that they were there even if they weren't fully participating in the Mass.

So yes. Thank you for this. And may you and your family have a blessed, holy Easter season.

Anonymous said...

I think a little more respect for other peoples' views would not go amiss. Celebrate your Christian feast how you will, but remember that other people are celebrating Ostara at this time. Ostara (or Eostre) was celebrated around March 21, and is an old Anglo-Saxon tradition, welcoming spring, symbolised by the Hare and eggs and new growth. It is this old Pagan tradition that has been commercialised, and probably the only people with a right to be offended at this commercialisation are practicing Pagans. Very few elements of the Christian celebration of Easter have been commercialised. If you and your family are celebrating your religion and customs in the way you want, then that is all that matters. If any other religious group is celebrating any other feast at this time, let them enjoy it and honour it how they wish. If some people only choose the commercialism, for whatever reason, well let them. But I think it is very ill-informed and intolerant of you to imply that anything other than the death and Resurrection of Christ being celebrated at this time of year is wrong or solely commercial.

Melissa said...

Thank you so much for your shameless, well-spoken words. I hope and pray that many read and take them to heart. What a blessing and inspiration you've been on this Resurrection day.

Anonymous said...

Seconding Anonymous, above, to reiterate that most of the symbols associated with Christian holidays (trees, lights, eggs, bunnies, etc.) have been appropriated from older religions and traditions, as have the dates themselves. The tradition of commemorating the shortest day of the year with a festival of lights, and of celebrating the renewal of the earth in spring with stories and symbols of rebirth, is far older than Christianity. Should non-Christians be offended by the cultural supremacy of Christian stories and beliefs in celebrating major feasts in many societies around the world? After all, it is only Christians who believe that those beliefs are in fact superior to other belief systems.

kim said...

I couldn't agree more with the two anonymous posts. This religious ramble and lack of prospective has made me unsubscribe to your blog. Everyone's beliefs should be respected.

Serena said...

Wow, all you anons (who aren't brave enough to show their names and blogs) need to get off your high horse. She's not bashing other people's beliefs, she's just standing up for what she believes in. You don't hate on Muslims for doing that, so why should a Christian standing up for what they believe be so offense?

Melinda said...

Well, I love you, Lynn. And I love that you live your faith. Easter is the most holy of all Christian holidays and has little to do with all the over-commercialisation made of it.
But... I still enjoy the chocolate, decorations, the shared family meal of Easter celebration. I still know what Easter is truly about.
While some of your commenter's opinions have been carefully laid out, I think they are harsh and unkind. I respect your opinion and faith, because it is truly something important to you.
And it is your blog, anyway! xx

Anonymous said...

http://tilmyheartscontent.wordpress.com/

I'm anon no1.

Standing up for what you believe in is great. "Hating on" what others believe is not. As you said yourself. The only person dissing the customs of other people here is the blogger herself, and I was pointing that out.

Serena said...

She never bashed anyone. She merely pointed out that it's apparent that only Christians celebrate the TRUE meaning of Easter. You can take whatever underlying meaning you thought she put in there, but what she actually meant is sitting there, looking you right in the face. The fact that she doesn't mind other people celebrating holidays around the same time, just don't try and pass it off as Easter.

hobby baker said...

I hope you had a wonderful Easter celebration with family and friends as we did. Have you ever done the resurrection rolls? Those would be fun for young and old alike I think. I made your Heavenly Blondies as one of the desserts for our get together - they are my most requested treat! I'd love to post your recipe again to let people know how fabulous it is. :D

WokandSpoon said...

Hope you had a good Easter. I enjoyed your post and am always up for chocolate brownies!

Elle said...

Amen! That's the best 'elevator speech' about Easter I've ever seen. It really is too bad that most folks don't see Christmas as a celebration of the virgin birth of our savior and Easter as the saving of us all. Sigh.
Hope you had a blessed and happy Easter with your lovely family. XO Elle

Ren said...

I am with the Anons too.

And I'll happily put my name in print.

There are people who don't believe.

Deal with it.

I live a good, kind and law-abiding life. I don't need to rely on some mythical magic man to absolve me of my faults and fixing my mistakes. I do a pretty good job of fixing those myself.

Non-Christians have these days thrust upon them. Respect that they will celebrate them in their own ways just like THEY respect you celebrating in yours.

susan said...

This is the first time I am hearing about white chocolate brownie.I am thinking of baking this brownie now. But ran short of vanilla essence. Can I use cocoa instead.I know it will be too chocolaty.

Cookie baker Lynn said...

Susan - I wouldn't recommend substituting cocoa powder for vanilla. Adding a dry ingredient in place of a wet ingredient will make your brownies dry. It would be better to just do without as much vanilla.

Lin said...

Thank you so much for this post! You spoke the truth in love.
Brownies look delicious.

Linda said...

Lynn...

Unfortunately not everyone has eyes to see or ears to hear...and while I believe in standing up for what you believe in - especially the facts as you present them, it's really in the daily life you live that you really show what His love and sacrifice means. I seriously doubt you meant
disrespect to anyone nor do I think anyone should take offense to what you said. I would ask that you pray for them anyway. I know it can be frustrating to see this world seemingly falling apart - especially morals, values etc... and people choosing not to believe in the greatest gift ever...but please know that God is in control and He does have a plan. Those that don't believe now will have the chance to accept Him later - that's part of His plan. If they choose not to at that point - it's God's decision. The perfect world is coming when He returns - don't lose heart. BTW - your recipes sound delicious - which is why we're all communicating anyway!